Yellow Sweater

United States

Zinnia | she/her | bi | agnostic | 18 | WA

2021-2022 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate

Elitist Atlantic Subscriber (jk, but I do think the Atlantic does some awsome journalism)

I don't necessarily agree with my own assertions

Message from Writer

I like spaceships, temples, and tea.

Some of my favorite poets and poet-adjacent-people: Federico Garcia Lorca, Ocean Vuong, Annie Dillard, Italo Calvino, Arundhati Roy, Michael Ondaatje, Becky Chambers, Pablo Neruda... The list goes on.

I am on here way too much.

My book is out next June! It feels wonderful to be able to say that with such certainty!

There are so many excellent writers on this site, but if you are new and looking for a place to start, check out: Paisley Blue, aosora, wishtree, aismic, Starlitskies, R.j.Elsewhere, amaryllis, .. ugh there are so many more....

Complacency

April 18, 2021

FREE WRITING

11
I tended a small garden outside my old cottage for many years. I grew peas and poppies and rosemary. It was a nice garden. Sipping a cup of tea, my hands close to my mouth, I can still smell a faint echo of the dirt that once coated my fingernails. 

I drove by the cottage the other day. The thatched roof was still charmingly frumpy, but the garden was dry and tangled. It has become a wilderness, and gardens are not supposed to be wild. I miss getting dirty; I miss caring for something beautiful. I keep my Honda so terribly clean. The plastic inside shines. There is not a crumb in sight. And I suppose it goes without saying, but there are no flowers.  

I pulled into the driveway. It was instinctual. The gentle rumble of gravel was too familiar to be ordinary. I felt the sharp tug of the past as I steadied myself. I am old; even gentle bumps jarr my brittle bones. 

The house was exactly as I remembered it. But the garden, my garden was gone. Not wanting to get themselves dirty, the new owners had let the outside go wild. I rang the doorbell, leaning heavily on my cane. A middle aged man answered. He was dressed in a rumpled linen blazer, lightly worn jeans, and wire rimmed glasses.  

He hesitated, unsure if he recognized me. “Um hello, is there something I can do for you?” 

I smiled and tried to make myself look like the endearing grandmother I was supposed to be. “I used to live here a long time ago. Is there any way I could take a peek?” 

“Uh, sure, of course.”  He stepped out of the way of my cane, gesturing me in awkwardly. 

That was all it took; I started crying. I felt the last eighty years pour into my heart. I couldn’t hold a moment more. I wobbled back to my Honda. I retreated into the spotless complacency of a passerby, of someone who stopped gardening long ago.

 

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  • April 18, 2021 - 12:11am (Now Viewing)

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11 Comments
  • The_Sunrise_Queen

    wow, this is so lovely!


    2 months ago
  • Sophiascb

    oh my- this is just what I needed right now. My grandparents are getting old and their house is too big for them, so they're moving out. It was like mine and my cousin's childhood home. They've lived there for thirty years. It's actually down the street from my current house and I'm scared of what will happen to it. I'm scared of what it's gonna be like seeing some other family layer their memories of the place over the top of mine without even knowing it. It's strange how attached we get to buildings, and in the case of this wonderful piece, gardens. Thank you for this. You wrote my fears like I read them to you.


    5 months ago
  • Coeur

    This is amazing...so bittersweet and gorgeously written! It's like tragic but written in a cozy style, the juxtaposition is great.


    5 months ago
  • Nyla

    Nooo this was so sad and sweet and just oh, a rush of emotions really! I really like the style you wrote this in- it's kind of like a mix of your creative non-fiction and storytelling abilities that make it a really simple but beautiful and enjoyable read (if that makes sense lol). And describing the Honda really well was a cool thing to do!
    RE: Oh how weird and yeah true, well I hope it’s come now!


    5 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Re: Also, I meant to say, I was very inspired by your piece, so I wrote one about my child-hood best friend's house, called "decay".


    5 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Re: Yes, I totally see what you mean about it being both living and dead. I have a lot of child-hood memories from my cousin's house, and I think I was more sad when they moved and sold the house than she was. The especially sad thing is that their new house was just built, and there's barely any trees in the area, whereas their old house had a beautiful tall lemon tree, and lots of other plants, like rosemary. It also had a playhouse that my cousin and my sister and I played in all the time when we were little. I'm starting to ramble.


    5 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Wow... This is beautiful. And, strangely, one of the saddest pieces I've read on this sight. Funnily enough, I can kind of relate to this, because I moved country years ago and my family's old house used to have a lovely garden. I don't know what it looks like now. I think some of it's still there, but most of the roses are gone. This piece is beautiful and touching and seriously well-written.


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thank you :) yes we plan to start seeing each other a lot


    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Wow, I... I don't know what to say. I'm awestruck by this piece's simple loveliness.


    5 months ago
  • Nyla

    RE: Haha thank you!!
    Ooh interesting- I’ve never watched it either but I guess that’s the weird thing with online quizzes- you never really know how accurate they are (especially cause everyone is so unique!)

    Yes I did and I have received mine! But, I didn’t get a notification in my dashboard, I only saw it from my email. Maybe that’s why you haven’t seen yours? And if you still can’t maybe you could wait until it’s officially tomorrow and email WTW?

    Also, this piece looks so good, I’ll leave a better comment tomorrow (cause sleep haha) but I just wanted to ease your worry a bit and hopefully, I did (a tiny bit at least!)


    5 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    ohhhhhh this is so sweet and heartfelt and ahhh i'm gonna cry!! beautiful story.... i always love your prose so much :)


    5 months ago